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Five-minute interview with Jonathan MacDonald

Posted by TeamITI on January 26, 2010

[tweetmeme source=”itimarketing”]

” The key to a successful mobile strategy is identifying and meeting the needs of citizens, through interactive and utility-based mobile services”, says MacDonald.

As an entrepreneur, consultant, blogger and all-round evangelist for mobile, it’s easy to see why Jonathan MacDonald is impressed by mobile services that help make the lives of busy people easier and more productive. With a background at Ogilvy, Blyk (a pioneer in permission-based mobile advertising), super-club Ministry of Sound and Sky TV, MacDonald is now currently involved in a wide range of mobile initiatives all coordinated through JME.net. He blogs at jonathanmacdonald.com and regularly speaks at mobile events – catch him at M-Football on January 21 2010, London, UK.

Excited about..
I think it has to be the potential to provide utility and convenience for citizens. I am a big fan of things that increase productivity and make our lives easier. I am also excited about ways in which we can express and interact more instantly. All in all, it’s the mobile facilitation of more valuable experiences.

Who is the new kid on the block?
Keep a close eye on Tungle. This is a fairly new service that allows you to book meetings with people without constant back and forth emails. You simply indicate which times you are free and anyone else, regardless of whether they have a Tungle account, can pick times that also work for them.

Furthest sector ahead
My version of exceptional mobile Web and mobile marketing is the provision of outstandingly useful information or content. The sectors that nail this, in my opinion, are navigation and travel.

In travel, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines are great examples, having trumped bigger operators with their mobile executions. With these, checking in takes just a few clicks and your boarding pass is actually a barcode on your screen, readily accepted by airport staff. As handset capability improves, you should expect to see this type of utility re-defining transport logistics. When it comes to navigation, companies like TomTom charge a fair whack for the service, but deliver excellent extreme value, so there’s good ROI. Take the TomTom app, it links to your address book and provides the ability to plan routes when not in your car – attractive options, if you can afford the premium price.

Successful mobile services
Generally I find countries that have skipped evolutionary technology and gone straight to mobile the most exciting. In these developing countries the usage and concepts for mobile are far more utilitarian and increasingly ubiquitous.
Citizen acceptance and adoption is not necessarily based on persuasion, or even seduction, but by basic need. The developed world would do well to learn that successful mobile services are rooted in meeting the needs of the citizens.

Maximum effect
I am absolutely convinced that the ability to have two-way interaction in contextual real-time will revolutionize mobile Web/marketing. For this to happen though, we must learn how to communicate with citizens in a non-patronizing and non-intrusive way. Brands that empower and earn trust from customers are first reap the rewards from mobile.

Resources
For a start I would recommend resources that are less to do with technology (including mobile), and more to do with psychology. Listening too much to people ‘inside’ the industry risks a mass circle-jerk of justification rather than increased understanding of how people interact.

This interview is published by Mobi Thinking, read the original article here.

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